Creston plays down Brexit impact as it reports 'positive' trading

Marcoms group Creston has reported "positive" trading in recent months, saying "uncertainty" in client budgets caused by the EU referendum has been largely offset by new business.

In an announcement ahead of its AGM this morning, the Nelson Bostock Unlimited, Fever and Red Door Unlimited owner said it had had a "positive start" to its financial year, in the four months to 31 July.

Creston, led by CEO Barrie Brien (pictured above), said trading had been "broadly in line with expectations" and that it was "maintaining its strong balance sheet, which underpins its progressive dividend policy".

Pre-tax profit is running "well ahead" of the comparative period last year, reflecting operational changes and "some benefit from the weakening in UK sterling", the announcement says.

The London-listed company said the EU referendum result "continues to cause some variability and uncertainty in budgets amongst the group's UK clients, which adds to the challenges some were already facing as they experience their own transformations within their industries".

But the firm added: "The subsequent movements in existing clients' marketing budgets have largely offset the benefit of new business gains and for the period to 31 July 2016 there has been marginal growth in reported group revenues."

Creston also said it is "making good progress" in its search for a new chairman, following the resignation of Richard Huntingford earlier this year, and will "update the market soon".

Creston had earlier reported a pre-tax loss of £7.6m in the year to 31 March, with "volatility in client budgets" and a weaker performance in its UK health arm meaning like-for-like revenue across the group was broadly flat.

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